You > Your Grades

First-years (actually everyone): A bad midterm mark doesn’t mean you won’t get a job.

In your senior year of high school, you apply to approximately 20 colleges. Get rejected by approximately 15 of them. Then you go to Brown, thinking you achieved something, just something. But then you get here and you miss your family and your friends. You attend your first day of classes, and you think, ‘that was easy.’ You finish your first homework. You sign up for a ton of club listservs and apply to the few ones that interest you. But then you get your first grades back and you get rejected by those clubs and it all falls down.

Sometimes you just start thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t think I can survive here’ or ‘I think that Brown Admissions made a mistake.’ That’s how I felt in my first month here.

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Frosh-cessities: A guide to summer opportunities

“So… what are you doing this summer?” — maybe the worst question since that dreaded “Where are you heading next year?” you might have gotten from relatives, your dentist, or strangers your senior year of high school.

Have no idea where to start your search? Have no idea people did things over the summer? Blog has you covered with an overview of some different options, especially for you precocious but overwhelmed first-years.

Taking Classes

Some students stay at Brown to take classes over the summer. It’s a great opportunity to take a class you might not have time for in your normal schedule during the year, or to get a concentration requirement out of the way. Despite the shorter term, each class counts as a full course credit because they meet more frequently. You can take up to two courses a summer, and up to four summer classes can count towards your degree. Classes are paid à la carteHere’s the current course catalogue for Summer 2016. Pre registration for summer courses runs from April 1 – 21.

You can also take classes at another university and petition for transfer credit. This needs to be arranged through the Dean of the College, because Brown’s course hours might not match up with the other school. If you’d like to get credit counted towards your concentration, you should double check with the department, because often departments are strict on what courses can fulfill a Brown equivalent.

RISD classes are also offered during the summer. Note that while RISD classes are included in Brown tuition for the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms, Summer classes are not included. More information hereUp to four RISD classes can count towards your Brown degree.

If you’re sticking around Brown for the summer, whether for classes, research, an internship, or something else, you can pay for Brown summer housing, or get a sublet in the neighborhood (there are always many options available, as juniors and seniors who live off campus desperately want to find subletters). You can also apply to be a Summer@Brown residential assistant (for high school students) and live in dorms over the summer for free. Many students enjoy spending the summer in Providence, for the free concerts and events, the warm weather, or for the change in pace and community from during the year.

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Frosh-cessities: Your roommate could be worse

I know, I know. You wanted your roommate to be your best friend forever immediately upon meeting them. Disappointed? What? Those crazy high expectations weren’t met before mid-September rolled around? Tough it up. It could be worse. Your roommate could be a cult leader.

Never forget the Boy Meets World cult episode. Never.

Never forget the Boy Meets World cult episode. Ever.

Everything was going great. One week into college and things seem to be almost too perfect. Shopping period wasn’t as bad as everyone said, the lines at the Ratty have been under control, and your roommate… woah. In a word: divine. The most charismatic person you’ve ever met. Almost magnetic. I mean, never before have you seen people flock to a single personality with such fervor. It’s nuts. I guess that’s just the kind of place Brown is, you think. A place where 18-year-olds effortlessly attract the attention of scores of their peers. Did they come here with all these friends, or did they just really kill it at the ice cream social?

But, like, it’s a little weird though. Right? You have this feeling in the pit of your stomach. You message your friends from home. Nothing conspicuous, of course. Just the typical, “Yeah college is s00oooo fun. The usual stuff. Drinking, classes, nothing out of the norm. Do any of ur roommates host really large but pretty tame chanting sessions in your room? Random question, just asking, hope ur good lol.” Continue Reading


First Years: It is time to prepare for war

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Napoleon Bonaparte after a particularly enjoyable conversation at the orientation ice cream social, ca. 1812.

Listen up, First-Years.

As you arrive on campus you will be greeted with good wishes and encouragement. I was in your shoes only last year, so I remember those heady days well. But take my warning, friends, and do not let yourself be lulled into complacency, for hidden between the happy team-building activities lies the greatest battle of your life: The ice cream social.

“The Ice Cream Social?” You ask. “But that sounds like so much fun! Surely you are mistaken.”

I am not. To survive the evening of mingling and make-your-own-sundaes you must become a social warrior, raising a shield of vague responses as you charge through barrages of small-talk.

Agamemnon did not sail for Troy alone, and you should not show up at the social without a buddy. Pair up with your roommate, or anyone else that you already know a little bit. You and your roommate can cover for each other in group conversations by laughing at your own lame jokes and making references to your room (or any other commonality that you’ve already discussed). Battling through the social together is also a great way to bond with your roommate. Just ask the guys from Band of Brothers. [Ed. This might be a borderline exaggeration, but you’ll have to see for yourself!]

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50 thoughts all freshmen have in their first month at Brown

Believe it or not first-years (though it may still feel like a weird, prolonged summer camp to some), we’ve made it through a whole month here at Brown. Congratulations! In honor of that milestone, here are 50 thoughts you’ve probably had sometime in this past month:

1. Bye parents!
2. Wait, no, I miss you. Don’t leave me.

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3. Ooh, I recognize that kid from the Class of 2018 Facebook group. This is weird.
4. What is with all these acronyms?
5. You are so cool. Be my friend please.
6. How does one even make friends?
7. You told me your name, but I forgot it immediately.
8. Why is it nicknamed “The Ratty,” and should I be concerned?
9. My butt is going to get so effing toned from all these stairs.
10. The water pressure is severely underwhelming.
11. Why is everyone so beautiful?

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What your lanyard says about you

 lanyard

They say a foolproof way to identify a first-year is by simply looking at the way they dress and act. If said first-year is clad head-t0- toe in Brown gear (socks included) and basically looks like the human embodiment of “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield as he/she struts down the Main Green snapchatting every squirrel in sight, then you’ve probably got yerself a freshie! It’s important not to overlook certain subtleties, however, such as the way they sport their shiny new Brown lanyards. Here is a guide to deciphering your new first-year friends through their lanyard styles!

Hanging around the neck

Here we have the standard model. These freshmen thrive on efficiency and know how forgetful they may get. I mean, it’s going to be a hectic first few weeks juggling shopping period schedules and take-out plates, and you’re bound to lose your ID if it’s not within a 2 inch radius of you the whole time. Also, these freshies just feel ridiculously #blessed to be at Brown and rightfully so (open curriculum + Gail)! They have no problem flaunting every Brown item they own, and are incredibly optimistic about their college years. Oh, to be young again…
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